May 14, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Kingston Receives
NYCOM Local Government Achievement Award
KINGSTON, N.Y. – Mayor Steve Noble is pleased to announce the selection of the City of Kingston as a second place winner of the New York State Conference of Mayors’ (NYCOM) Local Government Achievement Awards. The awards program, in its 31st year, recognized Kingston for the partnership the City has built with the Kingston City School District.
In commenting on the award in a prior release from NYCOM last week, NYCOM President James Miccio, Mayor of the Village of Fishkill, stated: “The City of Kingston is to be commended for its desire to assist the City’s youth through innovation, partnerships and hard work. This project will improve the lives of children throughout Kingston and is just one example of how local officials continue to work diligently to enhance their communities and the services they provide to their residents. I would like to congratulate Mayor Noble on this tremendous accomplishment.”
“The foundation of this work between the City of Kingston and Kingston City School District is the shared principle that caring for our youth does not begin and does not end at the doors to each of our schools. By breaking down these silos, we are able to create an environment where young people are supported at every turn,” said Mayor Noble.
“Too often, politics and partisanship stop important progress,” said Dr. Paul J. Padalino, Superintendent, Kingston City School District. “We’re absolutely thrilled with the recognition that our strong working partnership with the City is being recognized for its benefits to the most vulnerable citizens and students of this community.”
Specifically, the collaborative programming recognized by NYCOM this year includes:
- The establishment of a “Walking School Bus”- in Spring 2017, the school social worker of the George Washington Elementary School contacted City staff to express concern that many of the school’s students were in need of safe and supervised after school programming, but lacked transportation to access the free after school program offered by the City at the nearby Everette Hodge Community Center. Recognizing this barrier, the City and School District partnered to launch the “Walking School Bus,” a supervised walking route from the elementary school to the community center every school day.
- The offering of a free Summer Parks Meal Program- in Summer 2017, the City of Kingston partnered with the Kingston City School District to offer free summer meals at all four of its Summer Parks Programs. Access to summer meals is critically important, particularly for children who rely on the school district’s breakfast and lunch programs during the school year.
- The launch of a joint “Attendance Matters” campaign- in Fall 2017, staff of the City of Kingston and the Kingston City School District collaborated to create a campaign to raise awareness of the impact that school truancy and absence has on academic performance, health and wellness, and student success. In addition to producing a popular video, the partnership resulted in the placement of “Attendance Mentors” at the City’s two youth centers. Each Attendance Mentor builds relationships with the students at the youth centers and works to identify and address issues impacting the student’s attendance at school.
- The expansion of homeless and at-risk youth outreach programs- City staff and social workers from the Kingston City School District collaborate on a regular basis to provide direct service and referrals for youth and families struggling with homelessness and food insecurity. Since the City operates two active youth centers, on-site staff can facilitate the distribution of essential needs such as hygiene products, clothing, food, and laundry detergent in a discreet manner that protects the youth’s privacy and dignity.
One of the long-term outcomes from this partnership has been the launch of the Franklin Street Revitalization Project. This initiative was established in part as a result of the increased use of Franklin St. as a walking route from the George Washington Elementary School to the City’s Everette Hodge Community Center. Over the past year, Mayor Noble has outreached to other community partners to develop a comprehensive approach to supporting individuals and families living on Franklin St. In addition to securing $750,000 from the DEC Climate Smart Communities Program through the NYS Consolidated Funding Application to replace an entire mile of sidewalk on Franklin St., project components include: exterior renovations at the Kingston Library, located at the corner of Franklin St. and Prospect St.; an upgrade to a commercial kitchen at the Everette Hodge Community Center to facilitate the preparation by Family of Woodstock, Inc. of children’s meals during the school year and summer; renovation of three city-owned homes along Franklin St. to be sold to first time homebuyers; lead service line replacements for residential properties along Franklin St. and surrounding neighborhoods; the establishment of Radio Kingston near the corner of Franklin St. and Broadway; and expanded efforts to address zombie properties.
“I also want to congratulate this year’s first place winner, the City of Poughkeepsie,” continued Mayor Noble. “We are fortunate to live in a region where we have great working relationships with our sister cities and where we can learn from each other.”